I’m putting my foot down until you get this finished!

Having started to mow the lawn the piece of junk that calls itself a “Craftsman” lawnmower started to
play up and would only complete 2 rows of the Wimbledon lawn before running out of fuel. As predicted
…. fuel starvation caused by the float valve being firmly stuck. Of course with many hours, and
experience of same on trials bikes this was soon fixed and as soon as I suggested that I might buy
a Honda the mower behaved itself and the task was done.

While on break Jim and Lucille turned up to collect some trout from the freezer (so that I can go fishing
again) so the remainder of gardening went out the window and the break was extended. After they left
and I had completed the hour long watering session it became very dark and then started to rain and
this morning it is still coming down with some big puddles outside so today’s activities are of the
inside variety.

The Boss declares “open bar” onboard ship

The second set of heathers arrived yesterday so I’m in good shape to get the bed finalised and get the
rocks off the drive. Weeding of the proposed rose bed is pretty tough but the rain helped to soften the
ground and give my “tennis elbows” a break. Tomorrow another collection of suitable rocks to build the
raised bed for the roses then lay newspaper to retain moisture and prevent weeds and also get rid of
the medium sized stones from the heather bed to hold the paper down. I think by the time I get all the
dirt hauled over I will be ready for a beer or two at James’s Memorial at the Hollywood bar which was
his favorite haunt. James unfortunately met his demise on a drunken Friday evening about 6 weeks
ago when he and a friend decided to go on the Dolores River which was in full flow with all the melt
water. Regrettably they capsized and without a life jacket and the force of the river the result was
predictable. Sadly only a week later a lady tourist met the same fate.

Another 120 lbs of free rock

1/2 way through the rose bed and time to go rock hunting and complete both beds. I was going to
smother the remaining weeds but sheer bloody mindedness has determined they will be removed
prior to construction so that of course is taking longer than expected to get the job done. Pressure is
now coming with the classic “When do you expect to finish the heather bed?” Well, of course if I
wasn’t dog walking, cleaning, watering, cooking, shopping and humping and dumping I might have
an easy answer.

“All the weeds are gone……”

Over in the rose bed the last of the awful weeds have now been removed, 3 large loads of rock brought
round the front and having taken a well earned rest to watch Rossi win his 100th GP I had intended to
start the placing and building of the dry stone wall around the rose bed but events in a bottle overtook
other things as a party, including the fire pit all burst into life in the shade garden and before you could
say  ….it was bedtime……. no matter up here in the mountains there is always another day.

First Night Party in the Shade Bar

So a determined effort to get on with these last two projects and then I can turn my attention back to
rebuilding and selling the baby Superglitz TY175. What a cracking little bike that was and another one
that I will personally find hard to part with but in these hard financial times, like many other things, it just
has to go. Long time since I’ve had the 175 engine apart, and in this case its new main bearings. I
seem to remember the Phillip’s screws can often be a real bitch to get undone but apart from that it
should be another simple task.

Rose bed done! Only need to fill it with some free dirt and that task will be complete. Now time to
“plant” some rocks for the heather & fir bed and then the planting of same can be done……. and with
any luck I might get after some trout before the week is out.

Rose Bed DONE!

Best intentions!……. after watering and dog walking I went after World’s Strongest Man moving the
“Atlas Stones” and then with the majority humped over to the bed one attempt at the 500 pounder. I
managed to get my hands under it but even with a huge effort all that happened was little feet spun in
the gravel, Yogi bear style, and I went headlong over the rock ending up face first in the gravel as I
couldn’t get my hands out in time. It looks like I’ve been on a Quail Hunt with Dick Cheney as my face
looks like I’ve been hit with a 12 bore blast. Anyhooo if they could move giant rocks from South Wales
to build Stone Henge I ought to be able to get this mother off the driveway.

Some of the “Atlas Stones”

First round goes to “Rocky”

Another day, and time to plant those rocks but first how to get the 500 pounder off the drive and across
the lawn to the bed? Using an old fork tube I manage to move it about 4′ but the tube is too short and I
really want to roll it. With a superhuman effort I get it up about 6” but the pole is too short and slips out
from underneath and the rock enjoys gravity falling back to mother earth like a deadfall with my right
foot and toes under same! Much hopping and cursing and then the realisation that I too may soon be
wearing one of these Black Booties! Not being a wimp I decide not to take my shoe off to investigate
and spend the rest of the day limping. By now me and the rock are not getting on too well as the first
two rounds in this epic battle have definitely gone Rocky’s way and I’m reeling on the ropes.

Over to Megan’s, the local lady welder, and borrow a giant crowbar. This is more like it and now I can
get underneath and get it nearly to the upright and finally persuade it to roll over. The morning
continues until I have “Rocky” in his corner where the final knock out is delivered. The rest of the rock
planting goes well and by 2 the job is done and refuge is sought once more in the shade garden and
some test driving of Miller High Life takes place. Much later after final dog walking the sock and shoe
are removed ……. looks like something from the Discovery channel, a bit like the pictures you see
when an Everest climber has made it back to Camp 4 and is now suffering from frost bite. Yes, it is
well and truly smashed, and as my old Doctor used to say “In a case like this young man my advice
to you is Drink Heavily!”

Rocky Balboa finally put to rest after the epic 10 rounds

Drink heavily!

Today must see completion of this project but requires a little topsoil from Walmart and then firs and
heathers will adorn main street Dolores. Dirt duly acquired and after lunch time to get these plants in
the ground. Initial layout completed and no changes ordered so planting begins…… and then Jim and
Lucille arrive and once more the Shade Garden Bar is officially opened. A pleasant hour and then it
starts to rain. Guests depart, the rain stops, and planting begins again. By 7 p.m. I finally have the
hose in my hand and the new bed is FINISHED.

11 Trees, and 32 Heathers later…….

The finished article



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